In August 2013, DBC were asked by the staff of the newly-opened Dean Wood Residential Care Home in Woodingdean if we could provide a Team to hold a short service on a Sunday afternoon for the few residents who were already settled there, visiting relatives and friends. Since then, a Team leads a monthly time of singing some of the older hymns (which, on occasions, the residents choose themselves), a Bible reading, short prayers and a few minutes given to a simple Bible-based message.
On the Sunday before Christmas, we currently transfer our morning service from it’s usual location in the school to the Home where we have run a service of lessons and carols, again with a Bible-based message. On these occasions up to about 40 people have joined in and enjoyed the time together.
As a result of our ongoing visits, we have also been able to spend time after the services chatting with residents, visitors and staff. In addition, a few of the residents have asked for a personal visit in their own rooms from our minister or other members of our Team.
We are grateful for the goodwill which has developed over our time of getting to know the folk in Dean Wood and appreciate the encouragement and support we have received which allows us to continue.
The ethos of Dean Wood is to enable the residents to maintain as much contact with the local community as possible, especially for those who are limited in their ability to personally take part in activities away from the Home. As representatives of a local church community, we are delighted to have the opportunity to assist Dean Wood to that end.
2021 – no visits are planned due to current restrictions.
On the third Sunday in Advent, DBC decamped to Dean Wood Care Home in Woodingdean once again to conduct a morning service for the residents. Over 25 DBC members came to swell the numbers and around 60 people gathered for an hour of traditional carols and readings.
It was a happy time. One lady who said she didn’t want to sing, sang from memory most of the carols! It was lovely to see the joy on so many faces as they listened to the familiar passages and sang some of their favourite carols.
Sue Cunningham brought a puppet friend with her – Santa Paws – a shy cat wearing a Christmas hat! Together they showed us from a large box the things that make Christmas special for people like holly, mistletoe, cards, a tree nicely decorated with tinsel, baubles and an angel or star on the top, candles, crackers and food and presents of course. Santa Paws left one item in the box which illustrated so poignantly the true meaning of Christmas. It was a walnut. Our youngest visitor, Elliot helped to open the walnut and there was a surprise. Inside, instead of a walnut was a slip of paper and this is what it said….”Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you: He is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2 v 1. And this said Sue is the Christmas story “in a nut shell!”
It is such a blessing to go and share the good news of Jesus with the lovely folk at Dean Wood. There isn’t the opportunity for residents to go to church and so to visit the home on a monthly basis and to conduct a carol service is a real joy for the DBC team. It is evident that it means so much to the residents. To sing hymns/carols and listen to familiar Bible stories and verses jogs the memory and brings a sense of well-being and peace.
We look forward to continuing our visits to Dean Wood in 2020.